Black is Back — Darkening Your Home Decor

There’s a reason every woman has a little black dress hanging in her closet. Because black is timeless, refined, bold and subtle all at the same time.

Black is a neutral unlike any other. It can make a statement, but in a way that is entirely natural — acting almost as a chameleon, with its ability to blend with its surroundings (while still being the best looking chameleon in the room!).

Where am I getting with all this? Well, I’ve been noticing that black has experienced a resurgence this year, appearing in everything from ceilings to furniture to light fixtures to art work.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise — this color has always been lurking, showing up in people’s homes in the most innocent of ways. But this year, it seems to be making a definite statement.

Three separate paint companies chose a shade of black as their color of the year for 2018. Perhaps it’s because this classic color is the perfect contrast to the light greys, whites and natural wood elements that have dominated homes in recent years.  (Credit where credit is due: one of those companies, PPG paints, used the little black dress analogy that I find it so fitting!)

I’m also seeing more and more black everything as I flip through catalogs and stroll through design showrooms.

So let’s talk about how to incorporate this color into your home.

Use Black Sparingly

First of all, did you know that it technically isn’t a color at all? Sounds trippy, I know. But technically it’s true. Read more on that here.

That’s a bit of a side note, but it’s important to keep in mind that black really is different from any other color.

Too much black can be overwhelming. Very rarely would I recommend drenching your room in such a powerful hue.

Now, notice that I said rarely. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, there are exceptions to every design rule. In the right setting, a heavy dose of black may be exactly what you need to add extra oomph. In this article, several rooms are heavily blanketed in the color (while on this page, make sure to check out their cool software color analysis tool!).

But in general, I’d advise sticking with it as an accent color. It’s bold enough that a little will go along way.

That might mean using black for an accent wall, perhaps behind a bed.(Yes, you can use black in the bedroom!) Or, if you are looking for more dramatic impact, try it as your ceiling color. But ONLY in a taller, more cavernous room. While this could feel claustrophobic in some rooms, when paired with white walls and lighter decor, it could look really sharp.

Other Uses

Remember when brass fixtures were all the rage earlier this year? Well, now black fixtures are taking over kitchens and bathrooms. Whether this will be a short-lived trend or something that sticks around for awhile, is uncertain. But one thing’s for sure: there is a HUGE practical benefit to a black fixture, in that it is easy to clean and doesn’t show water marks or smudges! And we’re not just talking about kitchen and bath hardware, but light fixtures too. Some rooms will smartly use both, for visual continuity.

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Speaking of kitchens, check out this Houzz article which shows the rising popularity of pitch-dark islands. As you can see, you can take this decor decision in a number of different directions stylistically. But the one thing all of these kitchens has in common is the black island really anchors the space. At the same time, it doesn’t feel imposing, because these rooms are otherwise filled with lighter colors and/or a lot of natural light.

Black and white tile work is also finding new life in today’s homes, and these geometric designs are also showing up in throw pillows and other accessories.

Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to incorporating this color into your decor. You can find more examples here and here. Or better yet, call me for a consultation and we can work together on ways to bring this fashionable new color choice into your home!


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